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August 21, 2009
2:04 PM

CONTACT: Global Justice Ecology Project

David Meieran
Tel: +1-412-216-9821

Pittsburgh Climate Opposition to G20 & Coal Conference

Local, National, and International Groups Converge to Demonstrate Citizen Solutions to Climate, Economic Crises

Groups Oppose Closed Door Meetings

WASHINGTON - August 21 - A Climate Convergence to be held in Pittsburgh to coincide with the International Coal Conference (Sept. 21-23) and G-20 summit (Sept. 24/25) will be announced to the media today.

The 3 Rivers Climate Convergence [3RCC] is a partnership of local groups and individuals, concerned about climate change, environmental justice and true sustainability, collaborating with regional and national groups. Together, they are planning a variety of activities over a one-week period, involving public education and non-violent direct action targeting the International Coal Conference, local coal companies, the banks that finance them, and the G-20, which plays a pivotal role in enabling the industrial activities that negatively impact climate change. The focal point of the Convergence will be a Climate Camp, which the groups are planning to hold at Point State Park.

The goals of 3RCC include:

_ Amplifying the voices, issues and efforts of local, regional and global communities adversely affected by fossil fuel extraction, along with environmental racism, urban development and climate change.

_ Connecting the climate crisis to the economic crisis while challenging false corporate-based solutions that perpetuate environmental injustice, such as carbon (cap and trade) markets, clean coal, industrial biofuels, and nuclear power.

_ Projecting positive alternatives & initiatives to create localized, low-carbon sustainable communities and economies.

The actions planned during the week of mobilization include workshops, "Welcome to Coal Country" - actions led by local communities impacted by the coal industry, film screenings and forums, a "Climate Ground Zero" rally targeting a major local financer of mountaintop removal operations, and the "March for Environmental and Climate Justice" - a feeder march into the main "People's March" on Friday, September 25th.

Southwestern Pennsylvania offers many examples of industrial operations with a major impact on climate. Local issues include longwall mining, mountaintop removal, the industrialization of the Allegheny Forest and the development of riverbank areas such as Pittsburgh's North Shore.

Coal-related issues hold particular significance in this region. Raina Rippel, Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice commented: "Longwall mining literally undermines people's homes, quality of life, social and economic security, whether the effect is physical, financial, or emotional. Southwestern Pennsylvania is essentially being treated as an energy sacrifice zone. We provide "cheap" coal to a nation hungry for energy, while bearing a disproportionate amount of the environmental, health and economic costs to our citizens and communities. To protect those communities and end the destabilization of the Earth's climate, we need an immediate end to the expansion of fossil
fuel use."



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